My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—I went to Hartford, Conn., last week to attend the annual conference which the service bureau of the I.G. Fox stores arranges for its members and foreign students in Connecticut.

I spoke, together with Professor Bailey, at the last session on the question given to us: "Can an individualist be a member of a crowd?" Any attempt to answer this question leads to many developments, and I think both of us spoke on our own particular hobbies!

For me, of course, it is impossible for anyone not to be an individualist, since what a person is makes up his total contribution to his surroundings. No matter how hard a person may try to conform to patterns set by someone else, his contribution in the long run can only be made on the basis of development of his own personality.

I then returned to New York and on Saturday was off to Miami for a speech before the Washington Federal Savings & Loan Association in the Civic Auditorium.

The association's topic, "Is the United States Facing World Leadership?", required a careful approach on my part so as not to make me appear to be antagonistic. I hope I showed at least a fair understanding of the problems in that area and a sympathetic regard for the difficulties involved.

Back in New York Sunday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of attending an international book exhibition at Columbia University. Sponsored by the summer session of Columbia and the American Booksellers Union for the 25th time, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until July 1 in the rotunda of the Lower Memorial Library.

Some 500 of the latest foreign books in the major European languages are on exhibit, and the Soviet bloc countries also have been asked to enter. Seminars open to the public will be featured during the exhibition.

A bill has been introduced in Congress—HR 12176—by Rep. E.C. Gathings of Arkansas that would strike a double blow at the most poverty-stricken and underprivileged workers in our society—the American farm workers. This legislation seeks in two ways to keep low, and even undercut, the already small wages and poor working conditions of farm workers.

There is an alternative bill—HR 11211—which would, however, deal with the problem in a moderate but just way. Yet the Agriculture Committee and the Rules Committee, as a result of support from a Northern Republican-Southern Democratic coalition, have approved HR 12176 in spite of the fact that religious, labor, civic, small farm and consumer groups have opposed it and supported the other bill.

The Eisenhower Administration opposes any legislation in this area. This wicked coalition between conservative Republicans and reactionary Democrats has, nevertheless, pushed this bad bill forward. There shortly will be a debate on it.

Passage of this bill would be unfair to the farm workers of this country. Even imported Mexican farm labor has certain protections which are denied to American farm workers, and this bill would prevent the Secretary of Labor from setting up standards governing wages, transportation and housing for farm laborers approved by the United States Employment Service.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL